Saturday, August 2, 2014

Has Anyone Seen The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges Under Construction Since 2011?

On the left you are looking at an artist's rendering I found on the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle website on a page titled New Trinity River Vision Bridge Designs Revealed.

At the upper right corner we learn "Bridge construction to begin in 2011".

At the lower left we learn "Bridge designs take cues from local architecture".

Oh my.

Where do I start? Well, let's start with the first three paragraphs from the Bridge Designs Revealed article....

On a mission to design bridges that are both beautiful and budget-friendly, the City of Fort Worth worked with the design team to present unique bridge design options that are within budget to a dedicated citizen advisory group to ensure that community needs remain at the forefront of the design process.  A major goal is that the bridges – which will cross over the future bypass channel at White Settlement Rd., Henderson St. and Main St. – will provide a pedestrian-friendly experience and complement the iconic architectural components of the Cultural District and Downtown.

"I am honored to have had the opportunity to design bridges for a community that truly embraces their Trinity River," said Miguel Rosales, lead designer of the bridges. "We hope that these designs captivate the community’s desire for a unique bridge that attracts people to the river and cherishes the rich character and culture of the neighborhoods which they will connect."

The designs that are being released have been described as clean and modern yet suggestive of the arches of the existing Lancaster Ave. and Main St. bridges. The V-shaped pier design is inspired by local architecture found at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Pier 1 Imports/Chesapeake Energy Building – enhancing the sense of connection between Trinity Uptown and Fort Worth’s most cherished cultural hubs.

A "dedicated citizen advisory group" was presented these bridge designs to make sure community needs were at the forefront of the design process?


The bridge designs complement iconic architectural components of the Cultural District and downtown?


And what are these iconic components that anyone anywhere else in the world would recognize as iconic? The Modern Art Museum? The Pier 1 Imports Chesapeake Energy monument to corporate woes?

So these "signature" bridges, which are not remotely signature, as in not remotely unique, became the special bridges of the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle?

Originally the Boondoggle did have plans to build three actual unique bridges. But those turned out to be too expensive for the unfunded public works project which the public has never voted on. And so a change was made and propaganda spewed to pretend that the three un-built bridges are special signature bridges.

When they are not.

And now it is August of 2014, three years after the above Boondoggle graphic says construction would begin.

The latest Boondoggle propaganda has the construction of the "signature" bridges beginning this very month of August, 2014.

Some refer to these bridges as "Bridges to Nowhere". I refer to these bridges as "Bridges Over Nothing".

The Boondoggle propaganda has been claiming the bridges are being built  over nothing because this will save  money, because, well, you know it costs more to build a troubled bridge over water.


There would be no water in the un-needed flood diversion channel til water is diverted into it. The real reason the bridges are being built over nothing has nothing to do with saving money. They are being built over nothing, years after construction was supposed to start, because the Boondoggle only has funds to build the bridges.

A normal public works engineering project is a complex undertaking with various elements under construction at the same time. If the Boondoggle were fully funded both the bridge and the un-needed flood diversion channel would have been under construction years ago.

The funding of the Boondoggle was premised on getting federal funds, via pork barrel earmarks, thanks to Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger. This is why Granger's son, J.D., was hired to be the Executive Director of an engineering project for which he had zero qualifications, to help motivate Kay to serve Fort Worth a lot of pork.

Can the Boondoggle give the Fort Worth public some examples of channels or canals where, to save money, bridges across proposed chasms were built before the channels or canals were built? Did Teddy Roosevelt have bridges built across the Panama Canal before the canal was built?

And why is it going to take four years to build these Bridges Over Nothing?

Four years?

The billion dollar plus Dallas Cowboy stadium was built in less than four years. I think the Dallas Cowboy stadium was a more complex engineering project than the Boondoggle's Bridges Over Nothing.

One HUGE difference between the Boondoggle and the Dallas Cowboy stadium is the Dallas Cowboy stadium was fully funded, with part of that funding coming from Arlington voters voting to help build the stadium, which makes the resulting eminent domain abuse, which displaced a lot of people, slightly less offensive than the Boondoggle's eminent domain abuse.

Four years to build three Bridges Over Nothing.

Then what? From whence will come the money to dig the un-needed flood diversion channel after the Bridges Over Nothing are built?

The Boondoggle was originally touted as a much needed flood control project, to protect Fort Worth from a flooding Trinity River which has not flooded in the downtown Fort Worth zone in well over a half a century, due to a previous public works project which built massive levees, which the Boondoggle wants to remove.

This is all very perplexing and confounding. I am fairly certain I am not the only local who is perplexed and confounded by the Boondoggle....


Anonymous said...

Great summary BUT, there is no such thing as "less offensive eminent domain abuse".
Abuse in itself implies that to one of the parties, it is absolutely unfair.

Steve A said...

What special qualifications are needed to not build bridges and hold up cheesy signs? Seems to me the TRB keeps Kay Granger off the streets and away from any job where he could REALLY spend a lot of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

JD Granger has been quiet lately. Too quiet.

At the same time, the world is still waiting for Elbert Elmer "Bud" Kennedy to publicly apologize or step down. *grin*